Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Freedom Ultimately Depends On Truth

There is an extraordinarily powerful essay here in the Oct 2016 edition of First Things penned by theologian Michael Hanby. Entitled "A More Perfect Absolutism",  the author examines today's deep threats to Christian Freedom. Lengthy and thought-provoking, it is must-reading in entirety for those seeking insight into our collapsing culture and the response the Church must make.

It is part of the absurdity of American life that we decide questions of truth under the guise of settling contests of rights. Which means that we decide questions of truth without thinking deeply or even very honestly about them. Thus, while it is obvious to many that we are living through a profound cultural revolution, it is less than clear just what sort of revolution it is ...

... Politics is first philosophy for us. All real questions are political, and the liberal pretense of excluding questions of ultimate meaning from public deliberation only reinforces this habit of mind. We do not look or think beyond liberal order because for us there is no beyond. There be dragons. 

... In a perfectly absolute society, whose rule was indeed total, no one would ever know he was being coerced. 

[Indeed, unbelievers live in ignorance that they are coerced into sinful rebellion and naively believe they are living "free".]

... What is really excluded from public deliberation is not religious faith, which frequently functions as a useful foil to liberalism's instrumental rationality, but philosophical reason ...

... A society that is indifferent to truth or that reduces truth to technological possibility and pragmatic function cannot ultimately be a free society ... The perfection of totalitarianism consists not in the abolition of rights, but in the abolition of truth. Consequently, truth is the source of freedom - we might even say that understanding [truth] is the deepest form of freedom - because it enables us to see beyond the horizon of imminent necessity. (emphasis is mine.)

[Remember that Christ said the truth would set us free (John 8:32). Consider also the hostility that totalitarian regimes inevitably harness towards the truth of the gospel.]

... The fate of Christian freedom, then, does not hinge on political power, which can neither give this freedom nor take it away, but on the renewal of the Christian mind ... the purification required of us in this moment is intellectual as well as moral, perhaps more intellectual than moral. Needless to say, this makes the growing anti-intellectualism within the Church deeply worrisome ...

... the freedom that truth gives is no magical escape from fate ... rather, truth promises a freedom within fate, if only the freedom to make our fate a gift by suffering in witness to it ...

... Only the truth in Christ, and not religious liberty as liberalism understands it, can finally secure our freedom.


Warning of a "coming trial", Hanby hits the proverbial nail on the head with his magnificent treatise. At a critical time when much of the contemporary church is out of ammunition so-to-speak by focusing on activism in their fierce confrontation with the malevolent supernatural forces of darkness, Hanby reminds us of the "silver bullet" of truth that God graciously empowers us with.

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